The Problem With Confederate Monuments
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The Problem With Confederate Monuments


The confederacy was on the wrong side of history. There was a Civil War, the south lost. They fought for a cause that was to deny the humanity to millions of our American citizens. What has changed though, is that the city of New Orleans is not longer revering that cause as though it was the just cause and the right cause. We have spent the last 12 years rebuilding our city and as we look forward to our 300th anniversary, the people in the city started thinking about building the city back, not necessarily the way it was, but they way it could have been if we would have gotten it right the first time. And as we started thinking about our public spaces those Confederate monuments really stuck out as a, really, not a accurate recitation of who New Orleans had ever been. The white mayor of this predominantly black town says keeping these symbols of the Confederacy on a pedestal is out of step with today’s values. These monuments celebrate a fictional sanitized Confederacy. Ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, ignoring the terror that it actually stood for. And after the Civil War, these monuments were part of that terrorism, as much as burning a cross on someone’s lawn. They were erected purposefully to send a strong message to all who walked in the shadows about who was still in charge in this city. It’s about remembering the totality of New Orleans history and reflecting who we are as a people and having public spaces that reflect us all. I didn’t start the Civil War. I didn’t start the problems with race in
this country… We believe that diversity is a strength, it’s not a weakness. When you bring lots of different people together you form new things, like jazz. There are other places that might have a different opinion about that, but that was New Orleans’ feeling and to the extent that that’s
reflective of was what other cities may think, or instructive, then, you know, we hope that they learn from us both positively and negatively from this experience.

100 Comments

  • MondoBeno

    The monuments weren't built util the 1920's, so they don't mean much. But what do we accomplish by tearing them down? Robert E. Lee was not fighting for slavery, and General Grant was once a slave owner. Did anybody ask to take Grant off the $50 bill because of that? Then there's the $20 bill with Andrew Jackson on it. Jackson was a slaveowner, AND a murderer, and a terrorist, and a thief, but nobody's complaining.

  • jyienger

    Tolerance is being able to coexist peacefully with that which you don't believe. Scrambling to destroy Confederate symbols that offend you is the very essense of intolerance, and the kind of rationalization that breeds hate, war, and oppression.

  • JR G

    I think this timing of building monuments needs some accurate examination.
    They say long after the war these monuments were being put up??? 1890 wasn't that long after the war, 25 years. Civil War veterans were alive and well at that time. They had Union and Confederate reunions at Gettysburg as late as 1938 for the few veterans still surviving. Our WW2 monument in DC was put up 60 years after the war, do you think that they were sending a message to Germany and Japan????? The Civil War soldiers were dying off in the time period up to the 1930s, so the monuments were put up by grieving relatives, sons and daughters and the men themselves!
    Then they mention monuments being put up in the 1960s…. Hello! Exactly 100 years after the Civil War!! There was a very large Centennial of the Civil War in the years1961-65.

  • Lilolme Jusayin

    The Atlantic, why would give this fraud an outlet? There is no way you vetted his infotainment as history. I’m not familiar with your organization but you must be a left leaning organization who is not interested in truth or doing the investigation needed to seek it out. How intellectually lazy of you. He is on the wrong side of history because he doesn’t know history except how to politicize it for his own advancement at the expense of the citizenry. There was no vote. The citizens of New Orleans (New Or-lins) polled to keep them as did the state citizens who gave out of their want to honor their relatives who gave all to try to unburden themselves peacefully from unfair tariffs in the south only but spent up north mostly. The soldiers were meeting an invading army waging an also unethical civilian warfare at the same time. Most citizens did not own slaves. In New Orleans more Free Blacks than Whites owned slaves in 1860 by census. (28% vs 4.7%) His abysmal knowledge on the subject is embarrassing. He is misrepresenting our history and our citizens for his personal agenda. Our city floods regularly. The electricity is spotty during crucial times. Crime is rampant, the S&WB is forcing elderly people from their homes with water bills 4-5x their income to force them out for B&B investors. He’s decimating our neighborhoods by draining our elders who passed on to us our unique culture and ripping down statues for PC brownie points while the city deteriorates to an any city
    US status filled with non local college propagandized SJW students who see nefarious motives in everyone over 35 everywhere and fight injustice by imposing their injustice on everyone without a vote. We were a beautiful “Live and Let Live” city. Now it’s a “Live and Let Die” city. Our culture turned into side show by the carnival barker mayor. Now we have another Aspen Institute mayor from elsewhere who is poised to dish out more of the same. The French Quarter Disney section in Disneyland is now more authentic. We have become a parody of our once unique authenticity. Sad, tragic and wrong. So wrong.

  • Mike theBike

    I can easily discuss the lives of these war heroes for hours without ever getting around to the subject of slavery.I doubt the subjects of these monuments spent much time dwelling on the righteousness of it.It was an institution.An institution is something that was there before you,and will still be there after you. With no one man to credit or to blame.

  • efrem1

    Eisenhower, JFK and FDR thought that Lee was a man of great character and virtue. Landrieu is just another huckster that values politics and gluttony over a clear reading of men and history.

  • Stephen Sczurek

    After the Civil War, those who fought for the Confederacy became our brother Americans again. Veterans for both sides had an amount of respect for each other. We're forgetting that today. To remove Confederate monuments would be to deny that American brotherhood and turn a blind eye to our history.

  • Southern Man

    No problem with Confederate Statues but their are problems with Democrats. They make their own problems! They don’t know how to fix real problems! So they work on problems that aren’t problems!

  • Bingo Maverick

    Maybe I'll give you a different context, a diversity in opinion.

    In many parts of India and other erstwhile European colonies, you would find statues and roads named after Queen Victoria of England, many English nobility and Knights, Sir Campbell Road, Victoria Terminus yada yada.

    Why hasn't India taken down the monuments still you ask?

    It's coz the historically oppressed people have the right to do so if they wish to, but they haven't. I think this is a question of power structure and political dominance.

    If PoC had complete autonomy to dictate the relevance of these statues (eg: like in African countries that have colonial structures till date), they probably wouldn't bother removing it. Jus sayin.

  • Sean Johnson

    Why are people stupid are boy's will not die in vane but if all the monuments go down they still not die in vane long live the south

  • david large

    A Nation that selects the history it wants to remember is a Nation on a slippery slope to destruction by weak kneed leftists who at this moment are teaching your kids how not to be proud of their Nation .

  • Doug Masters

    Take comfort. This dude is going to die before a lot of us. How challenging is it, really, to dig out the soil from a grave and remove the contents? One good turn deserves another lol.

  • Xiaodong Li

    I don't support slavery. But I believe that the South fights for a lifestyle, and the North gangs them up

  • tom martinez

    Mr. Mayor. If it is necessary to take down Confederate Monuments and statues because the Confederate leaders, military leaders and soldiers represent treason and terrorism then because of what happened in San Bernadino. Las Vegas, Orlando, Boston, New York and other cities ALL Islamic symbols need to be taken down and removed. Fair is fair

  • Kenneth Bowers

    Funny because of very small percentage of Southerners owned slaves and those who did owned slaves had to pay a pretty penny to even own one. to say the Civil War was only about slavery makes as much sense as the Nazis going to the moon.

  • inaaya bint musab

    Statues are prohibited in the Bible..all statues of people…Numbers 33;52 ".. destroy all their figured stones, and destroy all their molten images.."

  • UndertaleSkeleBros

    Yes but you're also ignoring history

    Yes it was dark and yes the confederates were in the wrong, but just cause they were does not mean you should forget the contributions to history

  • Hiro

    "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Statues are relics of the past. We'd be no different from savages if we erase historical monuments regardless of which side of history built it.

  • Bishop Tony

    LANDRIEU SAID: “I didn’t start the problems with race in this country, but I did force the people of New Orleans to confront them,” Landrieu reflected in in this short interview at the 2017 Aspen Ideas Festival.,,,<<<< THAT STATEMENT IS GUILE AND VERBAL SORCERY… USING A ZONING ORDINANCE, HE CALLED THE STATUES A "NUISANCE", AND OFFERED NO PROOF AND NO CHALLENGE came from the people. — With 1000% of accuracy, Landrieu violated the definition of Nuisance and CAST a spell on the city council who capitulated to the entire drama of the INSANITY that happened… LANDRIEU used some good ole New Orleans VOODOO on all the people. <><> NOW the council people left and serving all follow under his spell and walk under his brainwashing programming! <><>
    FOR sure,,, the City has operated by the power of Demonic forces,,,, if it is evil or a vice or a immoral or Virtue less IDEA,,,, then that gets promoted ,,,, If its ANYTHING that calls for humans to be Ethical, Moral, Show Virtue and live those ways,,,, it gets scorned and scoffed.
    Nothing I have ever seen in New Orleans and lots of the people is all the pursuits of paganism,, hedonism, heathenism and anything illustrating Lewdness or Debauchary.
    <> born & live here <> It is a cesspool of people and most know they are in it !
    Be careful if you go there.

  • Zu

    Analogy:
    There is no need to make my Atari console into a statue. I've matured and adapted to XBOX, and my console may change in the future, but for now, I'm evolving – as needed.

  • Angelo Dunno

    Yeah I agree these statues don’t reflect today’s values, that’s why we are tearing these statues down along with the Ten Commandments, and we are replacing them with statues of Satan like in Detroit,Oklahoma and Arkansas, we can pretty much see who’s got the people mentally enslaved and in a real life zombie state of mind, but it’s ok in 2018 to erect a satanic statue that represents the values of the anti-Christ 🤦🏻‍♂️

  • Thomas Alkire

    The younger generation will have to account for their crimes against a generation that they were not apart of. It's easy to stand back and say this or that, since you were not on the battlefield at Gettysburg, you show your cowardice and treason. It's not your arms and legs that are missing, you make me puke. Cowards!!!!!

  • Billy Roe

    There are no problems with Confederate monuments. But there are problems with moronic assholes that deface them or tear them down.

  • John Prendergast

    It's HISTORY !!! Huge part of New Orleans history ….Landrieu divided the city and left town to sell his book …He will go down in history as one who was dropped on his head at birth along with his sister Mary …They are now in DC lapping up the swamp water useless politicians thrive on …."pathetic" doesn't cover it …

  • mad max

    Stalin erased history and that exactly what these communists liberals are doing
    But we will never forget that Democrats created the kkk and the Democrats fought against almost every civil rights movement in U.S history

  • Buddy Floyd

    You can tear down statues to Southern American Soldiers But you can NEVER TEAR DOWN OUR MUSIC. Dixie, Bonnie Blue Flag, Kingdom Coming and many more songs. FUCK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Southern Gentleman

    People should know that the Confederacy was really diverse. Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, Irish, Jews, French Algerians, and Cubans fought for the Confederacy.

    Like Loretta Velasquez, Santos Benavides, Moses Ezekiel, Marlboro Jones, Stand Watie, and W.S Lewis

  • Von Clohk

    I'm sure if people could have it their way they would have replaced the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument (Baltimore) with a Tupac Shakur statue because he went to the school down the street. Tupac was a talented guy who was also a women beating wannabee gangsta that thought life was about money and bitches. If you want to know the truth I say replace all the Confederate statues in this country with an innocent raceless looking "drummer boy" with the words "Battle Hymns Of The Race War" scribd beneath his feet.

  • Sam Jarvis

    he goes on about all the bad stuff in the confederacy, but ignores all the good stuff…
    In his mind, they were all soulless, evil, demons who were doing bad things for the sake of being bad.
    He's a childish fuck!

  • Austin Flake

    Could we just keep our slice of history? I am a proud southerner. I love the Confederacy, please just leave us alone. We were the true victors of the war. Even 200 years later, our very name makes the entire world crumble. Piss off you yankee bastards.

  • PhineusPeeMcGillicuttee's AmazingHairGrowthTonic!

    Republican Southerners are correct: "Y'all Dummeecrats is wreckin this country!"
    I imagine the Native people said the same thing when white man first spread across the plains & purposely massacred millions of Buffalo to starve the Native people off their land, then rubbed it in by turning one of their sacred mountains into "Mount Rushmore".
    …How come all the Dummecrats aint protestin aginst THAT monument?!!
    And yes, it is a FACT that the Dummecrats initially were the ones for slavery,. so doesn't that mean that the monuments that are now being taken down were originally erected by the DUMMEECRATS in the first place. …?!!
    ….Am I wrong?

  • Aniket Dixit

    My issue, being a Civil War buff, is not so much that these statues are there, but that they glorify the South and the Southern Cause. If anything, they should be replaced by actual war memorials or put in a museum. We shouldn’t take them all down, but we should acknowledge the darker meaning that hides behind them.

  • 2Uahoj

    Yes, removing historical statues and monuments is silly, pc stuff, and a diversion from the real problems facing the city today. Also, if one removes every statue related to slavery, one must absolutely remove those of Washington and Jefferson, who were MAJOR slave owners.

  • Jman

    Look, if you want to remove them go ahead. Just put them in a museum, that way it wont hurt anyone and for those who want to see it can still have it. History should be preserved at all cost no matter what you personal beliefs.

  • mrdave2112

    So it is ok to remove the battle flag that represents anti-tyranny and keep the one that the U.S. flies now a days which represents tyranny. And as for slavery, it is still legal: 13th amendment.

  • Steven Dunn

    The civil war was about states leaving the Union. North Carolina succession from the union because it wanted to be independent and self-govern. that is the true history but they twisted around history to fit their delusions. Even Abraham Lincoln said it was about States succession from the Union. General Lee didn't even join the South because of slavery he joined it because of the tyranny of Abraham Lincoln. And nobody teaches about the black Confederate troops. Well I could write all day about the true history of the Civil War, but too many people has been brainwashed by the history textbooks we have today.

  • Sea shadowbanned N.Christopher

    I CANNOT STAND THE PSEUDO INTELLECTUALS OF THE LIBERAL LEFT….
    MAKES ME SICK…. JUST AWFUL, DISGUSTING… TODAYS MONSTERS ARE THE PROPAGANDISTS, THE SOCIALIST DEMOCRATS, ISLAM, ILLEGAL FOREIGN NATIONALS, SO CALLED LIBERALS, LEFTISTS AND ONCE AGAIN..,THE SOCIALISTS!… THEY MUST BE STOPPED!..

  • justin holmes

    Are you seriously offended by a statue? Because that's is what this is about, if you don't like the statue don't look at it.

  • Baker Mark

    Here's what need to happen in this so called country:. If you take down ones of history, take all the fucking statues down. Martin Luther King Jr statue as well. We're so damn caught up in shit that it gets so redundant. Take all statues down regardless of what it or they represent. A nation divided will NEVER stand.

  • shane presnal

    If they remove our heritage in the form of destroying our statues what's next ? Free speech ? Putting white people in camps? The constitution its self? I for one will never bow to the liberal agenda no matter the cost

  • lucas inman

    WHO CARES IF THEY FOUGHT FOR SLAVERY if u did that during this time u may be revered as a hero by ur supporters but once the southern army knows its a 28 fire salute to ur head

  • Rick Park

    Everyone of those statues the Democrats are trying to tear down were statues of other Democrats!!!!!
    Every single one!!!!! No slaves were ever owned by Republicans!! Jim Crow and the KKK were all supported by democrats!
    Republicans fought the Democrats in the civil war to abolish slavery and polygamy.
    ….and the Democrats continue to spew hate and shut down free speech. Who exactly are the hateful racists one might ask?
    You can learn more at PragerU. You can see some but not all of their videos right here on YouTube. YouTube banned some of their videos, but you can still see the banned videos at PragerU.com
    ….of course you will be scratching your head as to exactly why the videos were banned in the first place.

  • genericmace

    Just because somebody fought on the side you are against doesn't mean you should try and erase the memory of them. Plain and simple.

  • Steve Sanzari

    Liberals are DERANGED , this is what they did during the crusades , with the Templar Knights destroying everything that was deemed unholy. Tons of secrets were lost during this period secrets that could ‘ve unlocked things in medicine, or many other things ! Liberals have completely lost touch with reality ! There is an agenda driving them where they feel they must change things and destroy things for their own satisfaction ! There is nothing wrong with Statues especially Historic ! They are there so we know who and what was happened in our Country good or bad and learn from it ! It seems that Democrats haven’t learned a Fucking thing because they are still trying t make slaves of all of us ! Where we are not aloud to think , express or live Free !

  • Ladog Box

    Black people who were never slaves are fighting white people who were never Nazis over a confedrate statue erected by democrats because democrats can't stand their own history and somehow its trumps fault? The sheep are thick with this one.smh.thank the media folks

  • Carausius Caesar

    I wear a rebel grey kepi i have a Confederate flag on my grey jacket.Long live the memory of all great Confederate heroes!

  • chester

    Most Confederate soldiers were too poor to have slaves, they couldn’t give two shits about them. They just wanted their own country from which they could protect and create their own rights. They were tired of the North always outvoting them and controlling their way of life.

  • Ch'iidii

    Who the hell is this stupid arrogant left wing idiot? He thinks you can remove these monuments and bend the silent majority to your way of thinking, by such condescending lecturing. History has shown such people loose in the end. There were many communist atheists in the Soviet Union who said they would reshape the old Russian society into a new atheist socialist workers state. With all of their vast power over the course of 73 years working to that goal the Russian Orthodox Church is back at the right hand of power and has the ear of the Russian head of state. All tearing down these statues will do is awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.

  • Lee Turnbull

    I hope his career went well from this virtue signalling and race baiting. When the revolution comes hopefully all your black allies wont kill you first.

  • OzZwald CopperPOT

    This is all leading up to an attack on our founding fathers and the legitimacy of our constitution! Resentment is just as much apart of Hatred as bigotry and who's hunger can never be satisfied.

  • Will Mike

    Just like the NAZI monuments were dismantled after WWII, these Confederate monuments need to come down !!! In fact, most of these were erected after the Civil War and it shouldn't have been. It's strange that
    100 years after the end of the Civil War…people of color were still not enjoying the rights they were entitled to as citizens.

  • Jesse James

    Those monuments should stay and should have stayed. Im all about the union winning and slavery being abolished. Honestly, who wouldnt be?? But, any monument should be left there, to serve as a reminder of how we've changed and what was going on during the beginning stages of America. A reminder of what not to do. What not to go back to.

  • Urban Atheist

    Only in amerikkka
    They'll tell African Americans to get over slavery
    And it was in the past
    Yet they erect monuments celebrating those who where pro slavery and fought to keep that way of life
    Ironically, this country has had slavery longer than it's been without it
    This country is full of epic shit
    We still deal with racism and killings and have a president who's pro white nationalist

  • Austin Adams

    They shouldn’t be torn down… if they do then they are just destroying history. For it to be destroyed is to repeat history.

  • Bart Tare

    "The Confederates were on the wrong side of history." Ugh. That's just … a modern way of viewing what millions of people (on both sides) in the mid-19th century felt was a "just" conflict. Moreover, most of the Confederate soldiers that are honored in these monuments were not slave owners, were poor, were conscripted into service and had little choice in the matter. What, you say they could have abandoned their homes and families and joined the Union army? Right. Easy to say in hindsight a century and a half later. Let's not forget the struggles that our ancestors dealt with to birth this country. They all did their flawed best, just like we are doing today. Although we like to think of ourselves as "progressive" (in the grand historical sense, not just in micro terms), I think that is an Enlightenment notion with little evidence in the real world. I also think that slavery still still exists everywhere in the world, even if we like to think it doesn't.

  • Stu Goodell

    Why are the democrats taking down their own ancestors (monuments)who started the Civil War and the KKK,are they feeling guilty,or trying to forget who they really are.The original racistsTheir plan never changes,they start wars then blame the president in office,for the crimes they commit,sound familiar.Please walk away from the democrats plantation.Just say no,and keep your dough,before the democrats take it all,while they say they want to help you,but won’t let your wallet grow.

  • HADEZ

    You wanna know what's sad is that Robert e Lee didn't own slaves but grant did and the fact Confederates had nothing to do with fighting for or against

  • Alexander bucknam

    So are the union they represent the same thing and don't you say the conference fought for slavery because that not what the war was about the society doesn't know the full truth conference it not a sigh if racism in the south there was racism to a lot more then it in conference

  • michaelkeha

    In Greece we have monuments to those that died by Ottoman hands for over 400 years why do we keep them around because they remind us of the past so it may never be repeated to remove those statues is to willingly forget your own history and to ignore how many millions of lives on both sides of the war were slain.

  • Bird Brain

    If tearing down monuments and historic buildings in America erases everything negative from the past then why don't English people destroy the tower of London?

  • Brian Miller

    In Ukraine, they tore down the Dzerzinsky, Stalin and Lenin memorials and removed the hammer and sickle insignias. In Germany, Nazi symbols, monuments and street names were removed.

    America, like the former USSR and Germany, has its own shameful criminal movement in its past called the Confederacy. The Confederacy, like the Nazis and the Soviets, sought to impose totalitarian rule by force on the population and singled out minority groups for oppression and "lessness."

    Our solution as a country to the Confederate occupation of the South should resemble the reactions of other countries tyrranized by the Nazis or Soviets. Remove the symbols, monuments and statues from their public pedestals. Put a few in museums with an accurate portrayal of the crimes they and their movement perpetrated, and send the rest to landfills.

  • Victor Jackson

    These are Confederate statues of criminals fighting to steal a black man's freedom. There is a place for them in hell. Also the people who follow them. They need to repent.

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